Mideco is pleased to have attended to the 2018 Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference that took place on the Gold Coast from 19 to 22 August. This annual conference on the mining workplace safety issues is one of the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The event is in its 30th year and it’s attended by nearly 700 delegates. The health and safety managers, occupational hygienists and training managers from some of the biggest names in mining such as Glencore, Anglo-American, BHP, Evolution Mining, Downer, Rio Tinto and many others participated in the conference as delegates and speakers.
The 2018 theme “Realising opportunities together” was supported by over 40 individual industry presentations. According to the conference co-chair Luca Rocchi, “This year’s theme focuses on working together to realise and identify opportunities for improvement in mining health and safety.”
There was a particular focus on the topic of dust exposure this year, especially coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) also known as black lung disease. In Queensland with almost 30,000 staff working across 50 operating mines this is a particularly relevant issue. The well-known Report No. 2, issued by the 55th Parliament Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Select Committee on re-identification of CWP in Queensland, confirmed 21 coal mine workers in the state have been diagnosed with pneumoconiosis as of 29 May 2017.
Mr Fritz Djukic, Inspector of Mines (Occupational Hygiene) from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy presented a report on the topic titled “Dust Exposures in Queensland Surface Coal Mines: 2001 – 2017.”
The Queensland government is heavily invested in finding solutions and providing preventative measures to change the black lung statistics in the state. In August this year the government published a handbook on the problem – “Mine dust lung disease. Information for Queensland Mines and Quarries”.
It was interesting to hear from one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Cohen, about the increasing problem of the black lung disease in the United States. Dr Cohen, MD, the Professor of Medicine and Director of the Occupational Lung Disease Program at Northwestern University stressed in his report that countries must continue to knowledge share and collaborate to rid the mining industry of this terrible disease.
All conference speakers shared this view and agreed that the solution of pneumoconiosis lies in its prevention.
Mideco’s personnel de-dusting system Bat Booth™ has been long recognised by the mining leaders such as BHP and Glencore as a great dust reduction tool that can help prevent the CWP. Bat Booth has been designed to capture and permanently remove even the smallest dust particles such as silica.
We are proud to be helping the Australian mining industry change the sad statistics of the black lung disease by providing innovative solutions and modern technologies that can make a difference to the health of Australian miners.